Choose the creative experience only SONAR offers: advanced technology, effortless workflow, and an inviting interface that amplifies inspiration. Fueled by 30 years in the relentless pursuit of innovation, SONAR is re-inventing the modern recording studio.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (55) - 80% of the 55 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 29, 2016

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Recent updates View all (46)

October 3

SONAR 2017.09 - Is now Available!

This month’s release for SONAR brings new features along with fixes & enhancements to many key elements of SONAR.

In SONAR 2017.09 we have added a dedicated button for duplicating tracks to make the tracking and mixing workflow even faster. Speaking of workflow, we have been working with Microsoft on support for the new Surface Dial. This is great device for people who want the feel of a control surface without the wires. It's great on the go and requires no setup to have control Surface like support so you can keep focused on your music.
New Features

New Duplicate Track Button

Duplicating a track is a widely used technique for mixing to create thick vocals when you add compression and chorus to the double. It is also very handy during recording when you are creating different parts using the same instrument or audio setup. In SONAR 2017.09 update we have added a dedicated button for this in the Track view to make it even faster. So you can focus on the music you are making instead of how you are getting there. To set how you want the button to behave you can right-click on the Duplicate button and pick the settings you prefer.

Microsoft Surface Dial Integration

Microsoft has released a new device for interacting with Windows 10 and it’s Apps. They call it the Surface Dial! It is apart of a new class of “Wheel” devices that are automatically configured for simple setup and powerful functionality. We are happy to announce that you can now use the new Surface Dial with SONAR along with any other Wheel device for Windows 10. All you need is a computer with Bluetooth support and you are ready. It features a built-in Smart Grid based Transport, Precision handling of controls in SONAR, and Project Zooming. It can also be configured by the user for a specific app to have a specific functionality from the Windows Wheel settings. The device can be used on the table as well as on the screen with supported devices such as Surface 5 & Surface Studio. Besides having dedicated functionality the Surface Dial also has custom hapic feedback configured specially for SONAR.

30th Anniversary Drum Replacer Kicks

Cakewalk’s 30th Anniversary continues with more freebies! These 30 killer kick drums are designed for use in Drum Replacer or Session Drummer 3 as well as Rapture Pro. They include 15 kick drums for EDM and 15 more for hip-hop.

Steam Platinum users with Drum Replacer will see them integrated into its factory content at: /Cakewalk Content/Drum Replacer/

Professional 2017 Users will find them in the same location, but since that tier does not come with Drum Replacer, you'll just have the Wave files to load into Session Drummer or Rapture Pro. Please view the included documentation at: {Steam Library}/Common/Cakewalk/Misc/30thDocs/

Users with 2016 passes can grab the files from our website


This month's issue covers the latest SONAR 2017.09 update, a review on the Kandiland EDM construction kit library from Big Fish Audio, creating Rapture Pro programs for MIDI guitar, a history on the 30th Anniversary Kick Pack, and expert mastering advice in this month’s feature of You Mix, We Master.

Read this month's Tech+Music here

Fixes and Enhancements
Duplicate (Clone) Track
• All references to Clone Track have now been changed to Duplicate Track
• Duplicated simple instrument tracks will now create a new instance of the synth
• Duplicating instrument tracks previously caused issues in projects with folders
• Duplicated tracks with lanes did not indicate lanes until expanded
• Duplicated tracks previously did not match the original tracks height
• ProChannel enable Post FX Rack button is now copied when duplicating a track
• Track gain is now copied when duplicating a track
• Duplicating a track within a folder could create a new track outside of the folder
• Duplicated tracks now respect the “Follow Track Pan setting
• Duplicated Track now remember if the inline Piano Roll is selected
• Duplicated tracks previously did not set the Read Automation button state correctly

Start Screen
• Clicking the Discover tab banner previously opened the Start Screen in a browser
• Text for “Demo Projects” in the Start Screen is no longer cut off in some languages

• Using touch to navigate, it was possible move the timeline beyond measure 1
• Tap to set NowTime in the Track view now works properly with Touch

• Track Control Manager previously listed Sends as AUX
• The Open File dialog did not display some Cakewalk file types when set to “All Cakewalk” Projects, Templates, and Bundles will now all display with this selected
• VST2 plug-ins without GUIs can now be scanned and loaded in SONAR

As with every release, if you experience issues, you can safely roll back via:
• Right-Clicking on SONAR in the Steam Client
• Go to Properties
• Go to the Beta Tab
• Select the "08.2017" beta branch (or another)
• Allow Steam to Update SONAR
• Launch SONAR
0 comments Read more

September 5

SONAR 2017.08 Update - Is now Available!

This month’s release for SONAR brings new features along with fixes & enhancements to many key elements of SONAR.

New Features

The Start Screen is an important part of SONAR, in this update we have continued to refine it by making the project creation process more straightforward with new templates, we are now displaying Demo Projects when installed (Coming Soon), and with the Discover tab you be able to more easily find news about Cakewalk and SONAR.

The New Discover Tab

The Start Screen will now display new notifications through the Discover Tab. In this tab you’ll see news about Cakewalk and SONAR, New Expansion Packs, Free content from our 30th Anniversary Celebration and be able to find all the latest issues of Tech+Music.

New Demo Projects

When the forthcoming Demo Projects installer is installed onto the computer the Start Screen will now display a Demo Projects tab. The Demo Projects installer will be available for all versions of SONAR including SONAR Artist, Professional, and Platinum. The Demo projects are a great way to get started with SONAR for first time users but can also be used to experiment with new features. We’ll be continuing to add new news as well as periodically refresh them with new content.

Start Screen Improvements

Using Ctrl + N or Ctrl+O it is now possible to create a new default project from the Start Screen as well as open a project from your drive. Clicking the New Project tab will now display templates and in this update we have streamlined the templates that are installed with SONAR. In addition, using the list view now display 16 projects simultaneously. New users will now see 6 templates installed for each version of SONAR; Empty Project, Basic, 4-Track, 16-Track, Guitar Amps, and Vocals.

Simplified Help Menu

The help menu in SONAR previously had many many things in there and could sometimes be confusing to navigate. We have simplified this greatly and made the menu much more straightforward.

30th Anniversary CA-X Amps
These 30 TH3 based virtual amps pay homage to classic amp sounds without the limitations. They have loads of personality and provide a simple drag-and-drop solution to different guitar tones. There are 5 bass amps, 5 clean amps, 5 rock and blues amps, 7 high-gain amps, 4 pedalboards, an acoustic piezo amp, and two “bonus” humbucker-to-single-coil FX Chains. All amps are setup in stereo, and can additionally be used in the ProChannel.

This month's issue covers the latest SONAR 2017.08 updates, uses one of the new demo projects to show how to get better vocals, reviews the unique “Aroma” plug-in for mixing and mastering, describes a fascinating “Anatomy of a SONAR Project,” provides expert tips on mastering in the “You Mix, We Master” monthly feature, and gives full descriptions of the 30 free amp sim FX Chains that are part of the 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Read More

Fixes and Enhancements

• Paste Special did not respect Destination Track in some situations during Paste
• Creating FX Chains previously not add parameters to a control unless it was added twice
• Dithering to 24-bit when exporting FLAC previously could cause unexpected crackles in the exported file
• Resolved an issue where SONAR may crash on OMF Export
Track View
• Drag reordering a bus would was off by 1 when moved to a new position
• Editing minimized Track View clips was previously difficult to slip-edit/crop on the right edge
Piano Roll View
• The Transform Tool no longer bounces clips together when doing velocity changes
• The Transform button now reflects Hard or Soft mode in the button when switching
• The Transform Tool’s Mask mode will now respond to Hard and Soft mode when Drawing through the Transform box
• Transform Tool now responds correctly when “Show Velocity on Selected Notes Only” is selected
• Transform Tool did not display preview correctly in certain conditions

As with every release, if you experience issues, you can safely roll back via:
• Right-Clicking on SONAR in the Steam Client
• Go to Properties
• Go to the Beta Tab
• Select the "07.2017" beta branch (or another)
• Allow Steam to Update SONAR
• Launch SONAR
4 comments Read more


“Very efficient, cutting-edge Windows DAW”
8/10 – MusicTechMag

“Although more in line as an advance on X3, this new flavor of SONAR achieves performance and capabilities that parallel any of its competitors.”

“SONAR remains a winner, very much in the top tier of Windows-compatible DAWs”
4.5/5 – MusicRadar


SONAR is a Digital Audio Workstation. For more information on DAWs please read the STEAM DAW FAQ.

SONAR Professional

SONAR Platinum

Dota 2 Music Pack Template

SONAR now includes a template to help users create their own Dota 2 music packs. Users can find it in their SONAR Tutorials folder. More information on creating packs can be found here!

About This Software

SONAR Professional and Platinum on STEAM are tailored for aspiring musicians, content creators and game sound designers. The program includes features like unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, VST3 support, virtual instruments, effects, editing and mixing tools, step sequencer, Matrix View, and much more.

2017 Season Passes
2017 pass holders enjoy Cakewalk's rolling updates to 12/31/17. After that time you can keep and use SONAR forever. Continued updates will be available via 2018 season passes.

SONAR Core Features:

  • Unlimited Simultaneous I/O
  • Unlimited Audio Tracks
  • Unlimited MIDI Tracks
  • Unlimited Sends/Buses
  • 384kHz Maximum Sample Rate
  • 64-Bit Maximum Bit Depth
  • 64-Bit Internal Mix Engine Resolution
  • VST 2.4 32/64-Bit Support
  • VST3 32/64-Bit Support
  • ARA Support
  • ReWire 32/64-Bit Support
  • Groove Clip Support (follow tempo & Pitch)
  • Windows 7/8/10 support
  • Windows 8/10 Multi-touch support
  • Project Tutorials
  • Mixing and Mastering Templates

Supported Formats:

  • Wave and Broadcast Wave (time stamped)
  • WMA, WAV, W64, ASF
  • FLAC
  • OGG, RF64
  • MP3
  • WAV RIFF, ACID, Rex, Rex2, Rex64
  • AVI, QT, MPEG video import/export
  • Dithering options on export
  • SoundCloud integration
  • MusicXML Export
  • 32/64-Bit VST3 support
  • 32/64-bit VST2, VSTi and DXi support
  • Bit Bridge (allows 32-bit plug-ins in 64-bit mixing environment)
  • PNG Track Icon support

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7, 8, or 10 (32- or 64-bit)
    • Processor: 2.6GHz Intel or AMD multi-core processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1280x800 (1920 x 1080+ recommended)
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: WDM/KS, WASAPI, or MME compatible device
    • Additional Notes: Connection required for downloads, activation, and publishing features.
    • Storage: 30 GB available space
    • Sound Card: ASIO compatible

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